Think Globally, Act Globally China-US Librarian Collaboration

Frequently Asked Questions about Presentations in China

Q: Do I have to be able to speak Chinese to be a presenter?
A: We will evaluate each candidate on a case-by-case basis.  We require all PowerPoint presentations to be in both Chinese and English, and we plan to work with all presenters as a team to produce a bilingual presentation.  A major goal for this project is to cross language boundaries for exchange and collaboration between Chinese and U.S. librarians, so we do not want your Chinese language ability to alone be a prohibitive factor for your involvement.  Likewise, we want to make Chinese information available to U.S. colleagues, regardless of their Chinese language ability.

Q: What are the qualifications to be involved as a presenter? How do I apply for it?
A: Please see our Call for Presenters page.

Q: If I don’t work in a public library, can I still be involved as a presenter or host?
A: The focus is on public libraries, so as long as you meet our presenter qualifications, have public library experience, or can contribute significantly on the topics desired by the Chinese librarians, your participation is welcomed.  Please forward any interest or information on these topics to – thank you!

Q: Is CALA membership required to be a presenter?
A: We recommend and prefer that our participants be members of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), but it is not a requirement for involvement. Annual dues may be as little as $15-30 for individuals, and the online application process is very simple, with a Paypal option of payment of dues very simple.  Please check out the membership/joining/dues information at CALA website.

Q: How can I be involved in the U.S. without going to China?
A: We need libraries and librarians to host our Chinese colleagues when they visit the U.S., friends to accompany them at conferences, referrals, information, web resources and publicity.  Please see our Hosting Information page. Please forward any interest or information on these topics to Dr. Shuyong Jiang at – thank you!

Q: What topics are presenters supposed to cover for the training in China?
A: The Library Society of China surveyed its constituents and the top six most desired topics that they would like to learn about are:

  1. Laws, policies, and strategic plans of U.S. libraries
    • Content, the process, how libraries are involved in making policies. Are there different policies/laws in different states?
    • Federal and local government policy and regulations for libraries
    • Library self-regulation, i.e. library rights, declarations, ethics, etc.
  2. Library management and operational mechanisms
    • Library management and administration at all levels. How the government regulates libraries.
    • Library (esp. public libraries) financial management, budgeting, fundraising, and use of funds
    • Public library services structure
    • Case studies and good practices
  3. Public library services
    • Basic principles
    • Services
    • Library to promote reading
    • Differences among libraries’ types, sizes and levels
    • Public libraries to provide government information, how, what kind of service and measure
    • Public library: fees vs. free access, open vs. restriction, general services vs. special, general public vs. supporting gov. decision making
    • Digital library, services, experience
  4. Library assessment and librarians’ professional development, promotion and evaluation system
    • Library evaluation, methods, results, and issues
    • Librarian professional development, promotion and evaluation
    • Library directors: qualifications and requirements
  5. Public relations activities and their value
    • Main issues of PR, how to promote and advocate libraries and library services, the roles library directors play in this, and successful cases
  6. Academic libraries, special libraries, library education, and professional organizations in the U.S.
    • An overview/introduction
    • Library organizations and their relation to libraries
    • The roles/functions of library organizations

Q: What are the responsibilities of a presenter? 
A: If selected, we expect you to uphold the following:
1) You must be willing to work with the team, follow the direction of the team leader, observe all schedules, and comply with all travel policies and procedures of the University of Illinois and all travel guidelines of the funding agency (IMLS). 
2) You will also be responsible for preparing and delivering an interactive workshop or lecture with good quality PowerPoint presentations or other useful media in both Chinese and English. 
3) You must also agree to post the PowerPoint presentations and other materials on the Think Globally, Act Globally website, and that they will be the property of IMLS.
4) You must submit a report to us within one month after completing the training workshop.

Q: What is the selection process for presenters?
A: Applications will be reviewed by the CALA International Relations Committee (IRC), which will then make recommendations.  The IMLS Think Globally, Act Globally Steering Committee(see below) will make the final selections based on the recommendations of the CALA IRC.

Q: What are the personal benefits of my involvement in this project as a presenter?
A: Speakers will have their travel costs covered by the grant agreement, have unique opportunities to interact with Chinese professional colleagues, and receive a $1,000 honorarium.

Q: How long would each trip to China last?
A: Expected duration of each trip is 8-10 days.

Q: How many librarians will be in each group/trip to China?
A: Each team will consist of 3-4 librarians and a team leader.  Librarians will be selected through the recruitment/application process. Members of the IMLS Grant Steering Committee will lead the teams.

Q: When are the trips to China scheduled?
A: We are currently planning trips to China in May, September, and October of 2009, and February, April, and July of 2010.

Q: What locations in China will the training be held at?
A: The May 2009 trip will be in Nanjing. The other five locations have not yet been determined.

Q: If I am not selected for one trip I apply for, may I re-apply for another?
A: Yes, you may re-apply for later trips, or just let us know that you want us to keep your application/file open for future trips. We will not automatically keep your application open for all future trips, in case your schedule does not work out, for instance.

Q: If I am selected as the presenter, can I extend my stay in China?
A: Grant-funded individuals may remain in China for non-grant related activities, but these activities may not be supported by grant funds. These individuals should compare the cost of their tickets for when they would have left following grant-funded activities with the cost of travel following other, non-grant funded activities. If the cost of travel is the same or less, that is fine, and each individual then will only be reimbursed at the original, lower level of the cost. If, however, an extension of travel for non-grant funded activities leads to a more expensive set of tickets, etc., then each individual will be responsible for reimbursing the grant for the difference in the cost of travel.

Q: If I am selected as the presenter, can I choose my preferred air carriers?
A: If using a desired carrier results in higher cost, the individual will be responsible for the difference. The Grant will verify the information provided.Trip comparison records detailing this decision-making will be kept with other records related to the grant and will be explained in the interim narrative report following the travel.

Q: Who are the IMLS Think Globally, Act Globally Steering Committee members?
A: The six Steering Committee members come from the University of Illinois and CALA:
1)   Ms. Shuyong Jiang of the University of Illinois Asian Library is the PI (Principal Investigator) for the IMLS Grant (
2)   Ms. Karen Wei, Head of the University of Illinois Asian Library, is a Co-PI
3)   Ms. Barbara Ford, Director of the University of Illinois Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, is a Co-PI
4)   Ms. Susan Schnuer, Associate Director of the University of Illinois Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, is a Co-PI
5)   Mr. Haipeng Li, Representative of CALA from Oberlin College
6)   Ms. Shali Zhang, Representative of CALA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Q: Whom do I contact for more information or with questions?
A: The primary contact for any questions or for more information is Dr. Shuyong Jiang at

Back To Questions

Copyright @ 2008